Microsoft Courts PeopleSoft Customers

Microsoft corporate VP Bill Veghte on Wednesday sent a letter to PeopleSoft users urging them to migrate their Unix-, AS/400-, and mainframe-based PeopleSoft applications to Windows servers. For companies already running PeopleSoft applications on Windows, Veghte pitched increased investment in a broader range of Microsoft technologies, including its .Net Web services, portal software, and analytics tools.

"Extending your current PeopleSoft investment positions you for the future on the Microsoft platform," he wrote.

Microsoft also is encouraging PeopleSoft customers to consider shifting to the enterprise-resource-planning applications sold by its own Microsoft Business Solutions division or those of a partner.

"Migration to another ERP solution, including Microsoft Business Solutions, SAP and other partner ERP solutions on the Microsoft platform are additional options to PeopleSoft customers seeking greater clarity around technology direction and platform choice," Veghte wrote.

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That last pitch is a shot across the bow of Oracle, which is spending $10.3 billion to acquire PeopleSoft largely to gain its customer base. Microsoft officials have repeatedly said they don't intend to compete at the high end of the ERP market, but there are many small and midsize accounts where Microsoft Business Solutions could bid against a combined Oracle-PeopleSoft. Microsoft Business Solutions sells four ERP suites, acquired for more than $2 billion over the past three years.